Big freeze puts hope for an early spring on ice

Another cold front accompanied by heavy snowfalls on Monday dashed hopes of a change in weather, following warm conditions around the country last week.

South African Weather Services forecaster Jan Vermeulen, said a cut-off low over the Northern Cape, caused icy conditions over most parts of South Africa from Monday.

Snowfall was expected in the western high ground of KwaZulu-Natal, the southern escarpment of Mpumalanga and in the north-eastern part of the Free State.

“The snow falls could vary from about four to five centimetres,” he said.

About 10cm of snow and 25mm of rain was expected in Volksrust, Mpumalanga.

“We don’t expect snowfall tomorrow, it should be cleared by then,” he said.

Gauteng residents should also brace themselves for very cold conditions until Wednesday, which is when the cut-off low would move away.

“Until the sun is back on Wednesday, we are going to have cloudy conditions, fog patches and drizzle,” he said.

Hail had also fallen over some parts of Johannesburg on Monday.

The N3 highway, and all alternate routes at Van Reenen’s Pass between the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal was also closed on Monday.

The N3 was closed from Harrismith to the Colenso/Frere interchange, due to heavy snowfalls, the N3 Toll Concession company said.

Spokesperson Andy Visser said: “All alternates including the N11 at Ladysmith, which motorists were using as a diverted route, has also been closed.”

Icy rain began falling in the area, during the early hours of the morning and later turned to snow.

Visser said snow continued to fall at midday, with breaks of icy rain.

Emergency services, police, military and car towing services have helped to move all light motor vehicles that were stuck earlier off the path.

About 30 trucks were still waiting at Van Reenen’s Pass.

“We are still busy getting them off the road. Thankfully, there weren’t any serious incidents. We just had some vehicles sliding off the road and a few jack-knifed trucks, with no injuries.” — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

As opposition mounts, Zimbabwe’s president lashes out

Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused ‘dark forces’ of destabilising the country

Big retailers need to step up to the plate

To stave off a multi-generational malnutrition crisis, the food industry must work with government to provide highly nutritious foods at cost during the pandemic

Crime stats mark a bitter start to Women’s Month

We must celebrate women’s achievements this month while agitating for structural change, argues Luke Waltham

South Africa prioritises fossil fuels over clean energy in post-Covid-19 recovery packages

The country is among the G20 countries who have invested in electricity produced from coal, oil and gas at the cost of addressing climate change

Challenges and opportunities for telemedicine in Africa

Telemedicine in Africa is currently limited by the availability of basic infrastructure, but, considering the lack of doctors in rural areas, it is a vital component in addressing the continent’s healthcare needs

Fight the disease of corruption in the same way we fight the coronavirus

Gogo Dlamini, Themba Dlamini’s mother, died of Covid-19, but Mzanzi has a chance to rid the country of fraud and exploitation and instead serve ‘Gogo Dlamini’, the people of South Africa

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Fees free fall, independent schools close

Parents have lost their jobs or had salaries cut; without state help the schools just can’t survive

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday